Nick Foles is out on the open market after being released by the Rams Wednesday.
Foles asked to be released knowing that he wasn’t in the Rams’ future plans after they drafted Jared Goff with the first overall pick. Foles threw seven touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 11 games for the Rams last year, eventually losing his job to Case Keenum.
Once upon a time, Foles threw 27 touchdown passes and two interceptions in 10 starts for the Eagles. The year was 2013. The Eagles went 8-2 in those games. The pixie dust wore off in 2014, however, and Foles injured his left shoulder halfway through the season.
The Eagles traded Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford before the 2015 season.
Despite his ugly numbers last season there might be a quarterback-needy team or two (or five) that would take a chance and see if Foles can recapture the magic of 2013. Knowing where Foles might land can help your wagering at betting sites.
No. 6: Steelers
The Steelers were so desperate for backup help before the 2015 season that they signed Michael Vick, for crying out loud.
And that was before Ben Roethlisberger missed four games with a variety of injuries. Vick replaced Roethlisberger in Week 3 and in four games he threw for an average of just 5.62 yards per attempt. In Vick’s two starts the Steelers lost at home to the 5-11 Ravens and needed a last-second touchdown to beat the 4-12 Chargers.
Vick was benched in favor of Landry Jones, who in seven games (two starts) completed 58 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Bruce Gradkowski, 33, is back this year after sitting out all of 2015 with a shoulder injury.
Gradkowski is expected to beat out Jones and regain his spot as Roethlisberger’s top backup. But he’s 6-14 in his career as a starter and has a career passer rating of 65.8. Foles is six years younger, 19-16 as a starter and has a career passer rating of 87.3. That averaged is boosted by his 119.2 mark in 2013, but his ratings were better than Gradkowski’s career rating in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Foles also would have more weapons in Pittsburgh than he did in St. Louis.
No. 5: Cowboys
Tony Romo missed 12 games last season with two injuries to his left collarbone. The Cowboys went 1-11 in those games and finished 4-12. Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore all started at some point with Cassel the only backup to record a win.
This year, rookie fourth-rounder Dak Prescott and Jameill Showers join Moore on the Cowboys’ roster. If the 36-year-old Romo gets hurt again, it would spell doomsday again in Dallas unless Prescott is a hidden gem. The Cowboys could use a backup who, for better or worse, has more starting experience. Foles is also familiar with the NFC East, having played the first three years of his career with the Eagles.
No. 4: Texans
The Texans made a huge investment in Brock Osweiler, signing him to a four-year, $72 million contract.
After Brian Hoyer threw four interceptions in the Texans’ wild-card loss to the Chiefs, the Texans knew they needed a franchise quarterback and that they don’t come cheap. But there’s got to be at least one person in the Texans’ front office who realizes that Osweiler is still unproven. He started only seven games last year and creaky-armed Peyton Manning had to take over for him at the end of the regular season.
Tom Savage and the aforementioned Brandon Weeden would be the options if Osweiler goes down or turns out to be a free-agent flop. Foles is a potential upgrade at backup quarterback.
No. 3: Bears
Speaking of Hoyer, he’s now listed by Ourlads as Jay Cutler’s primary backup in Chicago. Behind him are David Fales and Connor Shaw.
Cutler has been an enigma throughout his career. He’s 67-67 as a starter and has twice led the league in interceptions. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase squeezed a career-high 92.3 passer rating out of Cutler in 2015, but Gase is in Miami now.
The 33-year-old Cutler hasn’t done enough in his career to be immune from a quarterback controversy. Not that Hoyer could challenge him, but the Bears might be willing to take a flier on Foles with the future in mind.
No 2: Vikings
From the This-Just-In Department, the Vikings are missing some quarterback depth.
Second-year QB Taylor Heinicke just rolled in with his left leg in a cast, propped up on a scooter.
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) July 28, 2016
That leaves 36-year-old Shaun Hill and undrafted rookie Joel Stave as Teddy Bridgewater’s backups.
Bridgewater is supposed to make a big leap this year, but that’s no guarantee. He was supposed to make a big leap last year but threw just 14 touchdown passes. He threw the same number of TD passes in four fewer games as a rookie.
The Vikings have high hopes in 2016 after last year’s painful wild-card loss to the Seahawks. One injury to Bridgewater, however, could make the entire season a painful one.
No. 1: Chiefs
The Chiefs lost their backup quarterback when Chase Daniel essentially went to Philadelphia with Doug Pederson.
Kansas City has two homegrown backups to Alex Smith. Kevin Hogan was drafted in the fifth round this year and Aaron Murray was drafted in the fifth round in 2014.
However, Chiefs coach Andy Reid drafted Foles in 2012. Foles started six games under Reid before Chip Kelly took over in 2013.
A Kelly-Foles reunion in San Francisco isn’t likely. The 49ers already have a quarterback controversy between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick, and Kelly traded Foles away in 2015.
A Reid-Foles reunion? That could happen.